Samsung bets on a powerful, dual display flip-phone to boost China sales

Don't count out the old clamshell handsets just yet: Samsung has packed one with smartphone components and a pair of screens for China.

While Samsung is relying on its new Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ to help reverse a falling phone sales trend, they're not the only answers the company has. Samsung introduced a flip-phone for China that can help too. Yes: A flip-phone.

This isn't just an ordinary folding handset though. Samsung has packed it with hardware components that best most mid-range smartphones.


Dubbed the Samsung G9198, the clamshell phone runs on a six-core Snapdragon 808 processor, has 16 GB of internal storage and supports an additional 128 GB of space through a microSD card slot; something not even the company's newest flagships have.

To keep the phone small -- who wants a gigantic flip-phone? -- the handset has a pair of 3.9-inch Super AMOLED screens on the front and back of one part; the base of the phone has standard keypad buttons.

Neither of the displays has a very high resolution but at 768 x 1280 pixels, that still works out to a detailed 382.75 pixels per inch.

Samsung didn't skimp on the cameras either. The main sensor is a 16 megapixel camera while the front-facing sensor can take 5 megapixel selfies.

All of the typical smartphone radios are in the LTE clamshell as well: Bluetooth 4.1, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC.

Since the phone is only available currently in China, you won't see any Google apps or services on the handset; instead, this looks to have the open-source version of Android installed, along with some Samsung extras.

Can a flip-phone actually help Samsung combat its counterparts in China such as Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo?

Normally, I'd say not a chance. With a supercharged smartphone in a different form factor, however, perhaps the company can make gains by offering something that stands out.